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Remembered Today:

Visitors to cemeteries following the War


MGWilliams

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I recently visited Flesquieres Cemetery to see the grave of my great uncle TH Jacques. We wondered if anyone had been before. I never heard that a family visit had taken place. Are there spec ific records - and is there a good source for general stories about how visits took place in the years following the war?

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I am not sure this provides you the answer you want but the only records I am aware are of the Old Comrade Associations that arranged trips in the 1920s and 1930s. Regimental journals would carry an article and photographs.

Regards,

Jonathan S

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Hello MGW

I don't have an answer for you, but your question prompts me to ask what happens to the visitor's books that are currently used in the cemeteries?

When I visited my grandfathers grave I assumed I was the first family member to do so. The earliest pages in the visitor's book were only a few months old so a scan through simply proved no one had visited him during the recent past. At the time I raised a question about content in the visitors book. I hoped that additional information could be recorded to assist in tracing other visitors.

As the information put in the book is inevitably going to be seen by others and therefore in the public domain, I wonder if the sheets would be released to a third party to enable statistics/databases to be compiled which may help with family contact? The big question being, who would want to carry out such work?

Kevin

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Hello MGW

I don't have an answer for you, but your question prompts me to ask what happens to the visitor's books that are currently used in the cemeteries?

I did hear some year ago that the old visitors' books went to the Historial in Peronne after the Commission had finished with them. I have never checked to see if this was true or not or, indeed, how far back they went.

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I am not sure this provides you the answer you want but the only records I am aware are of the Old Comrade Associations that arranged trips in the 1920s and 1930s. Regimental journals would carry an article and photographs.

Regards,

Jonathan S

There is small snippet in The Snapper: Regimental Journal of the East Yorkshire Regiment, March 1927 concerning the Old Comrades Association of that regiment but also mentioning "The Ypres League", whoever they were and wherever their records are, if they survived, might be worth a follow up?

"The Ypres League is organising trips to Ypres (16th-19th April, 30h July - 2nd August ) to the Somme area (4th-7th June). Third class, the Ypres trip costs £3 15s., and the Somme one £4 5s. 6d. Anyone requiring further information should write to the Hon, Secretary of the O.C.A., Barracks, Beverley."

Probably not many could afford to pay that in those days. Wonder if travelling under their own steam would have been a cheaper option - especially for those living down south? So, possibly no record of their visits, unless they signed visitors books, if they existed at that time. Did they?

Caryl

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Early visitors needed to get a pass - but I doubt whether the records of who did visit then survive.

The BL may have an archive of who visited in their "Great Pilgrimage", I suppose.

To put the £3 cost of a trip to Ypres in context, £3 was 2 weeks wages to a labourer in 1927.

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Here's a bit from an earlier Snapper. January 1926, It's in an article about the proposed memorial church to be built at Ypres and may answer the OP's request for some statistics, but how accurate they are is anyone's guess

" .....English speaking pilgrims and visitors appear to be increasing annually in numbers with the improving facilities of travel; for three months in this year they amounted to nearly 1,000 per week....."

Caryl

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Found something about the Ypres League now (see earlier post)

This is from another Snapper May 1931, in advert form

"The Ypres League was formed in 1920 to perpetuate the spirit of Ypres as a living force in the Empire. An annual commemoration is held on Ypres Day October 31st. Poor pilgrims are taken out annually and arrangements made for hundreds to visit the cemeteries and battlefields. 40 signboards have been erected to mark historic sites and also 7 granite Pylons to mark the extreme German advance in the Salient

PUBLICATIONS

"The Ypres Times" (Quarterly Journal), "The Immortal Salient Guide", and "The Battle Book of Ypres"

A Scroll certificate is given to members who have served or lost relatives in the Salient

MEMBERSHIP

Life membership ..£2 10s.

Annual Members ........5s.

For full particulars write to The Secretary, Ypres League, 9 Baker Street London W1"

Caryl

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>><<

A Scroll certificate is given to members who have served or lost relatives in the Salient

MEMBERSHIP

Life membership ..£2 10s.

Annual Members ........5s.

For full particulars write to The Secretary, Ypres League, 9 Baker Street London W1"

Caryl

I am told that this is a Ypres League certificate:

post-22880-0-76703800-1304602688.jpg

David

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